Skills, experience, and credibility—these are some of the factors your company must consider in selecting an accreditation body.
You must weigh some aspects of your company against factors coming from a certification body. Ultimately, the decision will impact the future of your business.
Here are the Factors to Consider:
A central body accredits bodies to ensure the preservation of the Principles of Certification.
Only ‘accredited’ certification bodies can verify another organization’s processes and management systems. Therefore, this guarantees an unbiased and robust audit.
Skills and Competence
The body’s accreditation is already evidence of its competence as a certification body.
Trained and skillful employees form an efficient organization. A certification body’s staff must be knowledgeable and competent to execute significant activities under an accreditation.
Consequently, this is a guarantee that a body’s auditors and assessors are well-trained. A competent and skilled assessor will help make your management system more effective.
It is essential that a certification body can audit against the relevant standard/s your company needs.
Hence, you must check whether the body has a good portfolio in assessing companies towards particular standards.
Reputation and Brand
Some certification bodies come with a highly identifiable logo or brand. You can include this branding on your company’s stationery and marketing.
In terms of reputation, it is wise to check for reviews coming from suppliers, customers, and even competitors about their experience with certification bodies.
Thus, a certification body with good reviews and trusted branding can help make an informed decision.
Likewise, a reputable certification body can help you open doors for potential business partners and company growth.
ISO certification is well-soughed across the world. Customers, suppliers, stakeholders, and potential partners even look for certification as a basis for future business transactions.
Even though a local certification body assessed your business, the global recognition that comes alongside an ISO certification will reach even other countries.
Most of the time, certification bodies develop case studies for their past and current clients. You can ask for one or two case studies to help you assess the body’s capability.
Checking a certification body’s credentials and offer is crucial. However, your company must also weigh whether their services and nature are appropriate for your organization’s values.
Style and Culture
It is essential that an assessor can understand your company’s culture and style. Companies should not be afraid of an assessor. Assessors and auditors can become an ally. They could also serve as support in making changes for your company’s constant improvement.
The timeline would depend on your chosen certification body. Likewise, your company’s readability can impact the schedule. Documentation also plays a crucial role in your preparedness.
This is why employees must be aware of the certification. Thus, they should understand the importance of their collective work.
Application and Operational Costs
Your company must prepare for both the operational and application costs. This may cover investing money on administration, management, training, and documentation.
Besides, it is possible to encounter back-office charges, which are negotiable. This applies when determining audit dates and managing any issues.
Even when you get a local certification body, its branch could be far away from your organization’s location. Branch offices may vary, and this may lead to additional travel costs.
The advantage of operating locally is that a smaller certification body can offer a more personal service. Subsequently, lower certification costs.
Note that some bodies may include daily travel rate or accommodation in their price quote.
Therefore, make sure to check if the certification body is giving a fair price on the necessary number of days for the whole process. The price quote should cover the upfront fees and the three-year certification period costs.
Secure a contract that identifies what is and isn’t included in the quote. Be careful of hidden charges.
The best way is to ask for a day rate. Then, determine how long it could take to audit your company. This should depend on your organization’s size, scale, scope, processes, and activities.
Some certification bodies offer training services. They could also have specialist services like industry analytics, insurance services, and compliance software.
Certification bodies also serve as a support system because of their ability to pinpoint flaws and give assistance.
Some bodies provide support through workshops, training, editable documents, free templates, one-on-one consultations, and webinars.
Although certification bodies can lend a hand, it is better to make the necessary preparations first.
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